So first of all I will not be spoiling any specific things about the game. This will just be a general review outlining the features and what makes the game great. Also, I feel like its hard to talk about The Cave without a small amount of history first so let me just get this out of the way.
I LOVE the Monkey Island Series.
The story, the humor, the characters, the LACK of hand-holding throughout the ENTIRE game is just amazing. All 4 of the original games (and even the TellTale episodes) are flat out, pure puzzle fun. They are tough, sometimes a bit frustrating, but overall nothing compares to the satisfaction awarded when figuring them out. Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer, creators of the series, are two amazing gaming developer minds. They are creative, funny, smart and think about how to best please their audience. The Cave encompasses all of what I love about the Monkey Island series (item puzzles and great humor) with some simple platforming, HD graphics and an overall level of creativity that is just delightful. Ok, OK onto the actual game...
So The Cave is at it's heart, a straight up item-puzzle game. You will be given various items and have to use them in various ways with your characters and the world around you to solve the puzzles. If you do not like games that make you think or present you with a lot of puzzles you WON'T like this game. Its a tough, challenging game that makes you be aware of your surroundings, think creatively and make you feel like freakin' Albert Einstein when you solve it. It's plain, pure fun. The other awesome feature of The Cave is that it has 7 main characters. You are presented the option to take 3 of them through any one run through of the game. And if you think it doesn't matter who you take through you'd be wrong, DEAD WRONG!! But seriously, the game changes based on who you play the game with. See each character has a different special power (the Hillbilly can hold his breath underwater, Scientist can hack computers) and the game presents you with different paths and levels based on who you chose. Basically the game is composed of a couple levels that can be completed with any of the 7 characters but it also presents you with specific levels based on the characters that you have in your party. It is an awesome feature that led me to start a second play-through literally the second I finished, with 3 different characters of course.
The levels that make up The Cave are awesome. You are basically dropped into, you guessed it, a cave and left to explore. But just because you are in a cave doesn't mean that you will be stuck just exploring rocky walls for-e-ver. The cave has a bunch of different locations (no spoilers) to explore that are purely awesome to see.
The level designs are beautiful, varied and totally AWESOME!
People have been complaining about the jumping in the game being "floaty" just like EVERYONE seemed to complain about the jumping in Little Big Planet the exact same way. For me I never had a problem with LBP and I don't have a problem with The Cave. The controls seem perfectly fine to me and I never ran into any problems.
Who will you choose to play through as?
For a fan of puzzle games this game is pure joy from start to finish. I was laughing, scratching my head and enjoying the heck out of the 6 hours of so my first play-through gave me. I am currently on my second run through and I am guessing it will be a bit shorter because of the non-character specific levels that I now know the solutions too. But hear you me, replaying through those levels (they're just as good as the character-specific ones the first play-through) is worth it because all the character specific levels are amazing! This game is one of the best games I've played this winter, definitely the best puzzle game I've played in a long time, and a must buy for puzzle fans.